Pastoralia, Episode 6: Confession

Fr. Stephen McKenna

Fr. Stephen McKenna

On this month's episode of Pastoralia, we return to talk about the Sacrament of Confession.

While we may consider this topic to be understood by most practicing Catholics, there is never enough discussion both on the fruits of the Sacrament, but also on the various orbital topics that go along with it.

Before we begin the topic itself, we begin the program by first making a slight detour per listener requests about "what to do now?" So you have been studying, you've come to the realization that you can have nothing to do with the heretics and apostates who occupy the Vatican and the diocesan sees across the world, but are confused as to what your obligations are from this point forward. We will let Father discuss this topic which is a very real one that all of us at one time faced.

Then we will move right into the discussion on Confession. We begin talking about the obligations a Catholic has to fulfill in order to make a good confession and how parents must be the prime force in their child's life in not only teaching them to make a good confession, but also making it readily available to them. Father will discuss some "do's and don'ts" for parents regarding their children's confessions and frequency of its practice.

The Sacrament of Penance

The Sacrament of Penance

Father will then give a commentary on what are important aspects of a child's confession that he should consider before entering the confessional, as well as that of adults. How often should we be going to confession? Should we have a regular confessor? What if that option is not available to us? Is it allowable for us to go seek out confession from a validly ordained priest who is of other religious congregations who are in union with the modernists in Rome? What are the rules of charity regarding making Sunday confessions when you have other opportunities to do so?

Father will then hit on many aspects that give souls a moment of pause and present an obstacle to making a confession, such as: What if Father hears my voice and knows who I am? I can't just grab Father outside the confessional and ask him to hear a confession because he will know who I am! I am too embarrassed to tell Father this, he will think I'm a horrible person.

Father presents a clear, concise, and priestly view on the reality behind the confessions that he hears on a daily basis and gives listeners the reassurance that when a man enters into the confessional, he is no "special snowflake," and that he should confidently and humbly approach a priest at any time that he needs to avail himself of the Sacrament. Father will even talk about his confessions, and how his confessions differ from that of the laity; our listeners may be surprised to hear that they hardly differ at all, except in one small detail.

We will then segue into frequent faults in confession, and why this cannot be allowed: failure to be specific with regards to sin, failing to properly prepare for a confession, whitewashing away sins, excusing rather than accusing oneself, spouses confessing the other's sin, children making things up, and more.

Father will close out with talking about perhaps the most important thing we can do upon a fall into sin and the time period that exists between being able to make a sacramental confession: the perfect act of contrition.

Join us as we return for the second half of Season 3 with Fr. Stephen McKenna, assistant pastor of St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church in West Chester, Ohio (and pastor of many mission chapels), and host Stephen Heiner as they conduct this month's episode of Pastoralia.

Confession painting: Fondazione Cariplo / CC BY-SA (

Original Air Date: September 12, 2014
Show Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Show Guest(s): Father Stephen McKenna
Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner
Season 3 Sponsor:
Novus Ordo Watch

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